Spoonflower -- Buy Original Designed Fabric

Thursday, December 27, 2018

No! On Chomsky


A friend of mine said he was listening to Noam Chomsky and I told him I thought Mr. Chomsky was a creep. He didn't know why and I was curious, so I ended up listening to part of a video.

I listened to the video for a total of perhaps 10 seconds and he already offended me. He started by saying things were always bad but in the past, like after WWII, people thought things would get better. The difference as he sees it is that today people don't think things will get better (gee, I wonder why? Perhaps because of creeps like him telling us we have never been in worse shape??? but I digress) and then he said that things are MORE unequal than ever! Is he kidding? Clearly not, but things here are more equal than ever before. In some ways, a bit too “equal”, if you ask me. There is the impression among people in this generation that equality means equality of money, or of happiness or of G-d knows what.

But what equality means, as in constitution equality as in all “men” are created equal, means equality of opportunity – it's that, even though there cannot possibly be total equality (some people are born smart, some people are born rich, some people are born into poverty in a totalitarian country, some people are born into democratic US).

Even so, they can study hard, or learn to tell jokes, or dance on their toes, or hit a baseball. And in that, we all have an equal opportunity (to a large degree), certainly more than when my grandparents came here and there weren't a lot of professions open to Jews – that's why Jews became Doctors or Lawyers and other professionals or shopkeepers because they could have their own businesses – even though medical and law schools had quotas for how many Jews they would take.

Part of the problem is that there are so many people like the (undeservedly) respected Mr. Chomsky who speak “pearls of wisdom” made of manure. They perpetuate the soft racism of lowered expectations. Most of them feel a guilt over the treatment of blacks in the US (artificial guilt taught to them from nursery school) centuries before they were even born. Not only that, but a large percentage of these people didn't even have ancestors who were in the US before the Civil War. How in heaven's name do they share in the guilt slave owners should have felt?

And this is all my reaction to, what, two entire sentences? Can you imagine how I could react to the entire hour +?

So I listened to one more sentence. This guy is deluded. He started talking about the whole “rich vs. poor” thing. I had just recently watched a Prager University video (most of them are 5 to 6 minutes long, not an hour) that points out that the top 1% of earners in this country earn $500,000 or more. That is a very nice income, to be sure, but hardly filthy rich (and that's before taxes). And the top 1% earn 17% of the income and pay 37% of the taxes. Mind you, this is yearly earnings. (People on the lower end of the earning scale, BTW, people who make under $45,000 mostly pay little or no taxes.)

Most really rich people (like, oh, say, Mark Cuban) are self-made millionaires/billionaires. Cuban talks about ketchup and mustard sandwiches (my BFF talks about stone soup). I am personally poor but thanks to my parents and siblings, I live a pretty middle class life.

And I used to be a bit of a socialist, but I'm now convinced that the fairest, most equitable system is capitalism – hard work helps people get ahead and one can get ahead by working for someone else's business or your own. Hard work and a good product (physical product or service) helps one get ahead, no matter their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

All this doesn't even count the lies Mr. Chomsky tells about Israel. Here is one quote: “Hamas is regularly described as 'Iranian-backed Hamas which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel' [I wish they were always or even regularly described that way since that is the best description one could come up with to describe Hamas]. One will be hard put to find something like 'democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement [two state? What “two states”? Hamas and Fatah????] in accord with the international consensus' – blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel. All true [what is his definition of “true”? I guess it means “in your dreams!] but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable – Noam Chomsky, Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians

(The reason you “never” hear that is it's just not true. If you call an “election” where voters are threatened if they don't vote for Hamas “democratic” you need to read a dictionary. An election can only be truly democratic if it is a secret ballot and if it occurs at regular intervals.)

So can I be exempted from having to listen to this jerk? It's no wonder so many people don't understand him – he lies.

Friday, October 12, 2018

We're living in an "All or Nothing" World


I agree with a lot of what "Democrats" say, but I totally disagree with their impression of Obama. Personally, I can't think of one good thing he did (including ACA -- it might be better if anyone actually understood the law and what their rights were under it). The man pushed Israel under the bus so many times. And Carter (still a darling of the left to some degree)???? What in heck did he do that was so wonderful? He also threw Israel under the bus. When handed a list of the people who were to be officer/trustees, etc of the Holocaust Museum, he looked at the list and said "too many Jews". Even after his presidency he has been buddying up to the Arabs and that's not even mentioning his "lovely" "prosemitic" book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

I never said Trump was the greatest president who ever lived (I still think Truman was the best president and with the way things are going these days, with presidents getting worse, I doubt that is going to change any time soon. I didn't vote for Trump, but so far I don't see tons of Nazis coming out of the woodwork (as I have in the past). Trump says the stupidest things but I don't think people should be excoriated over things they say (particularly on social media -- I wonder what stupid things the man who beat a bunny would have to say on Twitter). The one thing about Obama is he knew how to shovel the manure. He knew how to say one thing at an ADL (B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League) dinner and another when he went to the Middle East to talk with Arab leaders. The man polarized Jews and African Americans.

I'm really getting annoyed (ok, understatement) that people are so "black and white" (that's colors not racial) these days. Everything anybody says is either all good or all bad. I didn't notice it so much until I read Bernard Goldberg's book Bias. It made me realize that I was falling into that also. It's hard to explain, but I notice it constantly these days. I notice it when Roseanne does something stupid (which she apologized for) and suddenly she's out of a job and a pariah. To me, it makes no sense -- we ALL say stupid things. And we all have always knows that Roseanne says and does stupid things, so why is everyone so shocked? BTW, I had no idea until VERY recently that there was ANY racial connotation to calling someone any primate. I called my niece (decidedly very light skinned) a monkey because I was in awe of the way she could swing from one bar of a "monkey bars" to another with ease (and aplomb) and I couldn't do more than hold onto two bars, one with each hand.

The constitution gives us a lot of rights but nowhere does it give us the right to not be offended. To be honest, I'm offended every time someone uses the term "Good Samaritan" (and if you don't understand why, read the NT story that the term comes from -- it's VERY offensive to Jews). But I don't assume that everyone who uses the term in an Antisemite. Why do people automatically assume that someone says something it means what is the most obnoxious or unflattering meaning of the word? And even if that IS what the person means, does that mean (s)he should be shunned for life.

I'm suddenly reminded of a story Phyllis Chesler tells -- she is a relatively famous feminist author who just so happens to be Jewish (as are a lot of the feminist leaders of the 70s -- Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug leap to mind, but I digress) -- I first heard of Phyllis Chesler when my Mom was in college (in the 70s) and she was the darling of liberals until... She was speaking to a group of academic feminists and they cheered her talk. Then, during the Q&A, they asked her how she felt about Israel and she committed the crime of stating her pro-Israel stance. She was booed off the stage by the same people who had just cheered her.

Why is it that these days if one disagrees with ONE thing a person says or espouses they dismiss everything else the person says? Why do we always take the worst that people we don't like say and the best that people we do like say?

This is not the Soviet Union -- we don't have to "toe the party line" not matter what. I agree with some things "democrats" say and I agree with some things "republicans" say. I'm an independent thinker -- I can take one from column A and one from column B -- it's all about what I think is right.